Monday, April 19, 2021
Home Health For Some Teens, It’s Been a Year of Anxiety and Trips to...

For Some Teens, It’s Been a Year of Anxiety and Trips to the E.R.

In a recent report, a research team led by the C.D.C. found that less than half of the emergency departments in U.S. hospitals had clear policies in place to handle children with behavior problems. Getting to the bottom of any complex behavior issue can takes days of patient observation, at minimum, psychiatrists say. And many emergency departments do not have the on-hand specialists, dedicated space or off-site resources to help do the job well.

For Jean, diagnosing her son has been complicated. He has since developed irritable bowel syndrome. “He has been losing weight, and started smoking pot due to the boredom,” Jean said. “This is all due to the anxiety.”

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has an emergency department that is a decent size for a pediatric hospital, with capacity for 62 children or adolescents. But well before the arrival of the coronavirus, the department was straining to handle increasing numbers of patients with behavior problems.

“This was huge problem pre-pandemic,” said Dr. David Axelson, chief of psychiatry and behavioral health at the hospital. “We were seeing a rise in emergency department visits for mental health problems in kids, specifically for suicidal thinking and self-harm. Our emergency department was overwhelmed with it, having to board kids on the medical unit while waiting for psych beds.”

Last March, to address the crowding, Nationwide Children’s opened a new pavilion, a nine-story facility with 54 dedicated beds for observation and for longer-term stays for those with mental challenges. It has taken the pressure off the hospital’s regular emergency department and greatly improved care, Dr. Axelson said.

Over this pandemic year, with the number of admissions for mental health problems up by some 15 percent over previous years, it is hard to imagine what it would have been like without the additional, devoted behavioral clinic, Dr. Axelson said.

Other hospitals from out of state often call, hoping to place a patient in crisis, but there is simply not enough space. “We have to say no,” Dr. Axelson said.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Adults in all U.S. states are now eligible for vaccination, hitting Biden’s target. Half have had at least one dose.

At the same time, with the virus resurgent, public health experts are warning Americans not to let their guards down. The United States is...

A Cuba Without a Castro? A Country Steps Into the Unknown.

Over the past few years, as the Trump administration imposed stringent sanctions on Cuba and the tourism industry was decimated by the pandemic, Cubans...

In Indianapolis Shooting, a Red Flag That Never Flew

INDIANAPOLIS — They are the rare gun laws that attract bipartisan agreement — so-called red flag laws, which allow the authorities to temporarily take...

Russia Expels 20 Czech Diplomats as Tensions Escalate

A day after the government of the Czech Republic blamed operatives from Russia’s military intelligence agency for a series of mysterious explosions at an...

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: